In November 2009, Dr. Brooke Magnanti bravely outed herself as the “Belle du Jour,” a former sex worker whose blog Diary of a London Call Girl went on to become a smash hit book and Showtime TV series, “Secret Diary of a Call Girl.” A specialist in neurotoxicology and cancer epidemiology, Dr. Magnanti only revealed herself to be Belle because an ex-boyfriend was threatening to do it for her out of spite. She had worked as a prostitute in 2003 and 2004 to support herself while finishing up her doctorate.
These days, the 35-year-old research scientist at Bristol University is penning another book, this time under her own name. Sexonomics: An Examination of Third-Wave Feminism Through the Prism of the Sex Trade will be published in spring 2012. Keep reading »
“When I first started playing [Belle/Hannah], when I first read the script, I found it very hard to believe that those kind of women in that profession really [could be feminists]. I was quite judgmental about it. I thought ‘I’m not entirely sure that there’s any way that you could be that way and feel liberated and independent and call yourself an out-and-out feminist.’ It’s a very gray area. What happens with the character of Belle is that it starts off being, ‘This is who I am, this is what I am, it’s all fine, I’m in control,’ to feeling like she questions her ideas of feminism, and mostly down to the relationships that she forms with Ben and other people. It’s something she starts to question more and more. Actually nowadays, it’s really hard to define feminism in a way, because it’s hard saying ‘we’re strong women, we’re career women, we make our own cash, and [yet] we wear provocative clothes, and say provocative things,’ and the whole idea feels slightly flawed now to some extent. … It is a massive kind of compromise. In one breath it’s like ‘this is my life’ and, on the surface, very enviable, but it would take a certain kind of person to be able to do that as a profession.”
— Billie Piper, who plays Hannah/high-class prostitute Belle on “Secret Diary of a Call Girl,” on being called out by her boyfriend Ben’s mom about not being a good feminist. Do you agree with her? [TV Squad] Keep reading »
If you’re going to rape a 16-year-old prostitute, I recommend being a highly paid professional athlete. Last May, Lawrence Taylor, a former football player for the New York Giants, was arrested for hiring a 15-year-old girl who was prostituted out by a pimp at a Holiday Inn in New York. The 51-year-old was charged with third-degree rape because of the victim’s age, which includes charges of sex with a minor.
But oh look! Last week Lawrence Taylor accepted a slap-on-the-wrist plea deal. Keep reading »
Newspapers had a tough time in the recession with many shutting down, cutting staff, or starting mandatory furloughs. Kevin Provencher, a reporter at the New Hampshire Union Leader had an interesting idea on how to weather the storm. He became a pimp. This week, he was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail for running a prostitution ring out of his local SpringHill Suites hotel. Keep reading »
You can leave those extra panties at home, but don’t forget to bring small bills lest your hooker should consider you an idiot. Oh, and if you are buying “it” in the Bronx, a mandatory shot comes with most sex acts. To find out more riveting facts about the sex worker industry, like how much prostitutes charge in different boroughs and what kind of smart phones they prefer, check out Wired‘s exhaustive study of how technology and sex work mix in New York City.[Wired] Keep reading »